The highlights of the July edition of Politichesky Klass

The highlights of the July edition of Politichesky Klass

The Chronicle of Political Thought covers a period of June 2 — July 9, 2008. Four major subjects

attracted the attention of political experts within this period. The first one is a problem of corruption which has been recently taken under control of the president. The second is a problem of grasping the views

of the new president and characterizing his political standing. The third is the interconnection of football and relative success of the Russian team

on the European championship with high politics. Finally, the fourth theme for discussion is the future

of liberal idea in Russia and Russian type of democracy.

The main body of the journal opens with

an article by Askar Akayev, former president of Kyrgyzstan, who writes about the specific features

of knowledge-based development in poor countries. He uses the Kondratieff theory of major (50-year) business cycles to determine optimal periods for such development, spotlighting the social component of the innovation policy in the poor

countries. He believes, with good reason, that only

a balanced social policy can help bridge the gap dividing them from industrialised countries.

Political analyst Alexei Mazur has proposed a way to eradicate corruption in Russia. This method

is not new and was applied in many countries before: each official must know that punishment for corruption will be unavoidable and severe. Mazur thinks the Russian bureaucracy should be divided into two groups, the "commissars" and the "clerks." The former will

control the latter and in general act as befits the true commissars of the past 20th century. He also suggests different forms of punishment, their severity depending on the social and political demand.

Philosopher Vladimir Mozhegov matches high

spiritual values (religion, culture and other existential roots of human existence) against the state and authorities, actually denying the latter»s right

to subjective existence. Individual oases of high

sense and undying values (i.e., icon painter Andrei Rublev and poet Alexander Pushkin) are keeping

the country and the nation from drowning in the maelstrom of chaos. However, they sometimes fail to live up to their mission because of society»s existential weariness, thereby opening the gate to yet another revolt.

Political analyst Roman Manekin outlines

the main landmarks of Russia»s geopolitics,

which he views as a striving to become part

of Greater Europe dating back to the era of the

East Slavs of the Transdniester. That cultural

and ethnic drive to the West was mostly made across the Baltic and Black Seas (in the latter case, with a view to moving on to the Mediterranean).

Manekin writes that for centuries Russia has held out

a hand towards Europe, which it ignored or pushed back. The process has not stopped, but has become

messianic now that America wants to gain a firm foothold in Europe, even though this may cost some countries in the zone of its interests their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Philosopher Valentina Fedotova contributed a serious but disputable article about the place of Russian social sciences in Russian society. Her goal

is to vindicate humanitarian sciences, which are blamed for things they cannot be held responsible for,

namely the practical application of their theories.

Historian Anatoly Utkin writes about the era

of tolerance as the only possible form of great powers» coexistence.

Philosopher Grigory Khakimov responds to a series of articles about capitalism, published in Politichesky Klass by his colleagues Valentina Fedotova and Vladimir Kolpakov. Using historical digressions that cover a long period from antiquity

to modern history, he analyses capitalism in its

relation to democracy. This couple, Khakimov writes, badly needs an arbiter capable of playing the role initially played by the national state.

The issue ends with the traditional ratings of Russia»s top politicians today and ten years ago.

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